Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Playful, Pink, Priceless

Oh what a dress- playful, pink, priceless!

What I liked about this dress:

-Obviously, the bright pink color!
-The paisley-ish pattern

Those of you who know me, you know my obsession with paisley! I have always liked paisley and am sooo happy that it has recently made a come back which has resulted in many super cute patterns available for everything from purses, to shoes, to fabric. In fact, not too long ago, I found an adorable pair of peep toe paisley heels from a thrift store that I wore in the "after" picture from my Denim Delight post. Love it. :)

This dress is a reminder to me that warm days are going to return! Now, don't get me wrong, winter does have a fond place in my heart, mainly due to Christmas, but generally speaking, I am much more of a warm weather kind of girl.

Anyway, back to the dress! To give this summer-style dress the justice it deserves, it went strapless!


I have to admit that cutting off the entire top made me feel slightly panicky knowing there was no going back! haha I'm glad I did it though!

Basically, the elastic waistband of the dress became the top of the dress. I had unbuttoned the top before I cut it off and then decided it would be really cute to make the sides come down, leaving the buttons and everything on for added character.

Sorry, it's hard to see the detail at the top!

Then I sewed the sides (that used to be the button part of the top) down the side seams.

And here is our summer inspired dress:

Here is a close up of the top (this is really hard to do with a tripod and self timer, haha).

This was a really fun dress to re-do, and I hardly did any sewing! Crazy I know! Anyone could do this! :)

I won't be posting a project next week since we will be in Europe!! Yay! I will for sure be taking a ton of pictures in London and Paris. If you really miss me next week (as I'm sure you all will, haha) feel free to look through my photography pictures on flickr.

 I'm very excited for the new year ahead, I have lots of fun things planned!

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!! :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Polka-Dot Frenzy

Ahhh, polka-dot. What is it about this classic pattern that so many people, myself included, are so drawn to? Maybe it is because anything polka dot has the potential to be pretty, flowy, and just the right amount of feminine. Anything that is described with those words are bound to catch  my garment minded attention. I'm sure I'm not the only one out there with a polka dot obsession! :)

Here is the pretty, flowy, feminine, polka dot potential I had to start with:

Not bad eh? Okay, so it needs a few improvements. What drew me to this piece:

-Obviously the polka dot pattern!
-I did like the length and the navy color

That's about it, haha, but honestly, the polka dot is what did it!

It took a few days worth of concentrated thinking while on the treadmill to decide how to transform this. I knew I wanted to keep the vintage feel, but not the grandmother type style.

First, out came the shoulder pads, which were actually kind of cute! Haha, I know, how can shoulder pads be cute you're thinking...Well, just look at the little guys!

The dress had this accordion type draping over the top...not so great. So I had to completely take the binding off the neck line to get that top piece off, and took off the sleeves while I was at it as well.

Much, much better after those came off.

Getting closer! I had to take in the sides, the dress is quite drapey (I think I just made that word up), but just looked a little too big on the sides.

After that, it was time to make a V-neck. I was a little nervous because of the material, but it turned out pretty good.

I then sewed up the sides, neck line, and arm holes.

And now our updated, wonderful, vintage inspired  polka dot dress:

I put a thin brown belt on and a pair of brown heels and I'm all ready to go! In honor of our upcoming Europe trip, I decided to tie the polka dot belt it came with around my neck. I really like how it looks with the dress. If only it was warm outside so I could wear this outfit now! I also tried pairing a cream cardigan with the dress:

Not too shabby. 
Now who doesn't like polka dot?? :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year...For a Holiday Dress!

As soon as I saw this gem in the thrift store, I thought to myself "oh, a holiday dress, that would be fun!"  So here is a holiday dress that is ready for all those Christmas and New Year's Eve parties! (Well, once we walk through the transformation of course!)    :)


What I like about the piece:

-The holiday dress look...or at least the potential!
-The Christmas green belt :)
-Maybe I'm a dork, but I actually like the poofy shoulder sleeves! (minus the shoulder pads of course) haha

To be honest, it took me a couple of days to figure out exactly what I wanted to do.  I had quite a few ideas, but wasn't sure how they would work out.  Once I finally figured it out, I set off to work.

First, I got rid of those shoulder pads.  I know I can count on that being the first step!

Next, I decided that the sleeves needed to be more of a short sleeve length.  I have no idea what length they were...they were longer than 3/4 and less than full, unless I just have monkey arms. haha!

Then I went to town cutting off the length of the dress.  I think I cut off around 16 in.  It was quite a bit.  

After the cutting was all done, it was time to start sewing up the arms and the bottom hem.  

Look at that festive green velvet!

And the skirt:

And that's it, all done! The festive dress is ready to go!

I think for this to be a more realistic dress to wear when there is snow on the ground, it would require some cute tights and/or some nice boots.  I was pretty cold in this picture and we don't keep it that cold in our house, though my husband may disagree :)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Denim Delight

The first official post!  Here goes!

Here again is a before picture of this wonderful blue jean dress:

I'll start off by explaining what I liked about this piece.

-I love the embroidery scroll work down the front.
-I also love the buttons down the front that have a scroll work pattern on them as well.
-I like that it is lightweight denim, which would be easier to work with.

I was instantly inspired to make a really cute jean vest.  I actually initially thought of my friend Emily, who has a fitted jean vest and it just looked amazing.  I've seen some really cute ones in the stores, and have wanted one, but never got around to buying one. So I set off....

First before anything else, I had to get those I-want-to-look-like-a-football-player shoulder pads out!

The back of this dress had little ties to make it more fitted. I knew for sure I was going to have to take it in, but wanted to keep those ties.

I then  marked where I wanted to cut off the length and went to town sewing a stopper for the zipper.

After that, I cut off the skirt, got my good 'ol seam ripper out and took the sleeves off.  Which left me with a jean vest!

All I had left to do was take in the sides and sew up the arm holes and the bottom in the back.  I did break out my serger so there was less fraying jean material to deal with!

After all of that, I had my finished product!
Tah-Dah! :)

I really like how it turned out! And my black turtleneck fit under it just perfectly!
After I finished and was looking at the pictures on the computer, I had the idea of cinching the straps.  It might look cute, I may have to pick a rainy day (or snowy I guess!) and do that!

Friday, December 3, 2010

A New Adventure

Ok, so I'm finally doing it-a blog!  I've always wanted to blog but never felt like I had anything even remotely cool or interesting to talk about, that is, until now!

I was recently inspired by a blog that I came across about a lady who bought awfully outdated dresses from thrift stores to alter them into something worth wearing-and not to an ugly Christmas sweater party!  As I'm sure many of you know, I have always enjoyed sewing so this has really gotten my creative juices flowing.  What better way to recycle as well as to get that vintage feel without getting crazy looks when walking down the street! Not to mention you can get pretty good deals at thrift stores or garage sales compared to shopping in stores.

I might even be branching out in the future to other thrift store creations besides clothing as well, I guess it just depends on what treasures I can find! I'm going to start out making my goal to do one piece per week.  Maybe I'll become more ambitious, who knows!  Also, as many of you probably know, I am quite a random person, so some of my photography and other random things may pop up here and there.  It just makes things more interesting, right? :)

So I'm beginning this journey and I'm excited to see where it goes!  I hope you will accompany me in this new endeavor and please feel free to leave any comments, thoughts, or ideas you might have. 

I've already completed my first piece, which I will be posting tomorrow!! Yay!  Below is a preview of whats to come.  I hope you are as excited as I am! :)